Ok, so you’ve put in the work. You’ve re-set your insulin sensitivity. 2 weeks have passed, and you’ve gotten used to the intermittent fast and the reduced calories…
Some of my friends have said that they prefer not to “mess it all up” with a cheat day… Hear me now… a cheat day will improve your journey towards weight loss and getting in shape.
The hormonal benefits of a cheat day…
When your body is fed less than its used to, your cortisol, the stress hormone, levels shoot up. This not good for depression and building lean muscle mass.
1. Increase in thyroid hormone output
- When your body is in a caloric deficit, you produce less T3 and T4 — both important thyroid hormones that play roles in the regulation of metabolic rate. A cheat day or strategic overfeed can help increase these hormones.
2. Increase in twenty-four-hour energy expenditure
- A caloric surplus from a cheat day causes your body to increase your basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn throughout the day. Studies have shown an increase of nearly 10 percent, and it’s hypothesised
3. Increase in serum leptin levels
- This might be the most important perk of cheat days from a fat-loss standpoint. Leptin levels drop when you’re in a caloric deficit (lasting as little as seventy-two hours), and a periodic bump in leptin coming from a cheat day has several benefits, including increased thyroid output, increased energy expenditure and basal metabolic rate increase.
The benefits of a cheat day also extend to a much deserved break on a mental level. Sit back, and eat what you want to…
Some guidelines for the cheat day…
1. Do not gorge; stop eating before you feel stuffed. You are allowed to eat what you want but not to gorge yourself until you feel like you want to throw up.
2. Only buy your cheat foods on your cheat day. Then after the day is done, get rid of them. Remember: if it’s there, you’ll eat it. So throw your cheat day foods in the trash once the cheat day is over. (or give them to a hungry person)
3. Eat your meals and make them as cheat-y as possible. Leave no stone unturned. Eat what you want. You certainly don’t have to eat junk food; if you adhere to a gluten-free diet, you don’t need to eat cookies — or you can obviously just eat gluten-free cookies.
EAT WHAT YOU WANT, WITHOUT ANY GUILT!!
AND WHEN MONDAY ROLLS AROUND, GET READY TO NOT EAT ANYTHING.... - BUT MORE ABOUT THAT LATER....;)